Harold Ford looks for work

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. appears to be narrowing his career options, including a possible teaching post at Vanderbilt University and non-paid work with Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Nationally, Ford has resumed his high-profile punditry on network and cable television, appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” and Thursday on CNN’s coverage of the new session of Congress.

Ford isn’t commenting yet on what his plans are.

The Memphis Democrat ended his 10-year House tenure last week after losing Tennessee’s closest U.S. Senate race in decades to Republican Bob Corker Nov. 7.

After the election, Ford, 36, mentioned teaching at a major Tennessee university and working with Bredesen as possibilities that he’d like to explore.

Vanderbilt has discussed a non-tenured, part-time political science and government teaching position but nothing has been finalized, the chairman of the school’s political science department, Neal Tate, said.

“We don’t have any arrangements yet. It might happen. We’ve had some discussions on campus about what might be a good format for our students to benefit from,” Tate said. One possibility, he said, is an adjunct professorship, a part-time post that sometimes involves team teaching with a full-time professor.

Ford is not expected on the Vanderbilt campus when classes resume Wednesday but later in the semester remains possible.

Two miles away at the state Capitol, the governor said he and Ford “have talked about a couple of things _ not as a staff, paid role _ but some things that he can help on, that he’s interested in working with us on.

“He’s going to participate with us in some events around MLK Day but I’m not ready to talk about that,” Bredesen said. He also mentioned the possibility of Ford as a state spokesman on the development of alternative fuels in Tennessee, a central theme of Ford’s Senate campaign.

Ford appeared on the Steve Gill Show, a Nashville radio political talk show, and said that he’s particularly interested in working with Bredesen on education, tax and health.

(Contact Richard Locker of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., at www.commercialappeal.com.)